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Title: Punnika: Punnika and the Brahman

Summary: url=index.html#thig.12.01.than Punnika convinces a brahman to abandon his purifying water-rituals – after all, if bathing were sacred, then frogs, turtles, and fish would all be pure.

Thig 12.1


Punnika: Punnika and the Brahman

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu



I'm a water-carrier, cold, always going down to the water from fear of my mistresses' beatings, harrassed by their anger & words. But you, Brahman,

what do you fear

that you're always going down to the water with shivering limbs, feeling great cold?

[The Brahman:]

Punnika, surely you know. You're asking one doing skillful kamma & warding off evil. Whoever, young or old, does evil kamma is, through water ablution, from evil kamma set free.


Who taught you this — the ignorant to the ignorant — 'One, through water ablution, is from evil kamma set free?' In that case, they'd all go to heaven:

all the frogs, turtles,
serpents, crocodiles,
& anything else that lives in the water.

Sheep-butchers, pork-butchers, fishermen, trappers, thieves, executioners, & any other evil doers, would, through water ablution, be from evil kamma set free.

If these rivers could carry off the evil kamma you've done in the past, they'd carry off your merit as well, and then you'd be

completely left out.

Whatever it is that you fear, that you're always going down to the water,

don't do it.

Don't let the cold hurt your skin.“

[The Brahman:]

I've been following the miserable path, good lady, and now you've brought me

back to the noble.

I give you this robe for water-ablution.


Let the robe be yours. I don't need it. If you're afraid of pain, if you dislike pain, then don't do any evil kamma, in open, in secret. But if you do or will do any evil kamma, you'll gain no freedom from pain, even if you fly up & hurry away. If you're afraid of pain, if you dislike pain, go to the Awakened One for refuge, go to the Dhamma & Sangha. Take on the precepts:

That will lead to your liberation.

[The Brahman:]

I go to the Awakened One for refuge; I go to the Dhamma & Sangha. I take on the precepts:

That will lead to my liberation.

Before, I was a kinsman to Brahma; now, truly a brahman. I'm a three-knowledge man. consummate in knowledge,

safe & washed clean.

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	<div id="F_sourceCopy">The source of this work is the gift within Access to Insight "Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14", last replication 12. March 2013, generously given by John Bullitt and mentioned as: ©1995 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.</div>
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	<div id="F_sourceTitle">Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.</div>
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<div id="F_citation"><b>How to cite this document</b> (one suggested style): "Punnika: Punnika and the Brahman" (Thig 12.1), translated from the Pali by  Thanissaro Bhikkhu. <i>Access to Insight</i>, 4 August 2010, [[|]] . Retrieved on 10 September 2012 (Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14), republished by <i>Zugang zur Einsicht</i> on &nbsp; retreived on: <script type=“text/javascript”>var d=new Date();document.write(d);</script><noscript>Your browser does not support JavaScript or the script for the file Name and date of the retrieving was blocked! Please enter the whole URL on and add the date when reciting texts of this page.</noscript>

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en/tipitaka/sut/kn/thig/thig.12.01.than.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/20 16:54 by Johann